legal anthropology

Dr. Richard Wilson’s New Book on International Prosecution of Inciting Speech

International and national armed conflicts are usually preceded by a media campaign in which public figures foment ethnic, national, racial or religious hatred, inciting listeners to acts of violence. UCONN anthropology professor Richard Wilson’s new book entitled Incitement on Trial: Prosecuting International Speech Crimesevaluates the efforts of international criminal tribunals to hold such inciters criminally responsible. This is an unsettled area of international criminal law, and prosecutors have often struggled to demonstrate a causal connection between speech acts and subsequent crimes. Wilson argues that inciting speech should be handled under the preventative doctrine of inchoate crimes, but that once international crimes have been committed, then ordering and complicity are the most appropriate forms of criminal liability. Based in extensive original research, this book proposes an evidence-based risk assessment model for monitoring political speech. Dr. Wilson’s book identifies ‘revenge speech’ as the type of rhetoric with the greatest effects on empathy and tolerance for violence.

This excerpt was provided by the publisher, Cambridge University Press. For more information about the book and to purchase a copy, click here.

Richard Wilson named visiting fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation

Congratulations to Dr. Richard Wilson for being named a visiting fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation. Richard Wilson is a Professor of Anthropology and Law at UCONN. Dr. Wilson will begin his one-year fellowship next fall. He will focus on a project on inciting speech and hate speech in the United States and the Balkans.


Richard Willson